Born: 04 Jul7 1927
Died: 19 October 2019
Our dear old Dad died peacefully on October 19th, with family by his side.
Born in Poland, Peter emigrated to Canada at the age of 11 where his family made Mannville, Alberta their home. Having no education to that point, Peter quickly embraced learning and his life's path was set. He understood that learning is not a simple task and unique to the individual. This guided him through a very successful and rewarding career of over 40 years as an educator.
Peter taught in one-room schoolhouses in Northern Alberta, high schools in Edmonton and Cranbrook, and HMCS Venture, Victoria. He retired as Professor Emeritus (Mathematics) in 1989 from Royal Roads Military College where he had the good fortune to spend over 21 years. Throughout his career and beyond he continued to receive messages of thanks from his students. It always warmed his heart to know that he had made a difference.
Along the way, continuing his own pursuit of knowledge, Peter earned 5 degrees - BEd; BSc; MEd; MPA; PhD and mastered 6 different languages. He continued enrolling in various courses well into his 80's. His thirst for learning never ceased.
Peter truly had a full life. Space does not permit listing all of his interests. He was a fitness buff and enjoyed running and tennis. He played his last game of tennis on his 89th birthday. He was involved in politics; was on various committees and boards; volunteered in the community, and much more.
Laughter was a big part of Peter's life. He was known for his humour and loved telling jokes to anyone who would listen. It brought him joy seeing people laugh and smile.
Peter had a special friendship with Kwakwaka'wakw carver Chief Henry Hunt. They met over a cup of coffee and Henry motivated him to carve. Peter learned well from Henry's guidance and created some pretty amazing carvings, for a Ukrainian.
Peter met our Mom Jean in high school. They were married in Edmonton in 1954. A strong connection between them was their passion for helping others, in their own ways. Together they raised 4 children. Peter was extremely proud of his family and it gave him such satisfaction to see his children and grandchildren following successful paths of their own. Peter was predeceased by Jean in 2001. He leaves his children Gordy, Gavin (Rhonda), Sacha and Sue; grandchildren Rowan and Silken; and brother Steve (Lillian) and family. We will miss you Papa Shmata.
Our family wishes to thank Dr. George Urban for his years of care and friendship. And, to the staff at Broadmead Lodge who took exceptional care of Dad through his final chapter. "Death is not too big a price for the life I have led."
As per Peter's wish a private gathering was held in the Green Burial section at the Royal Oak Burial Park. In lieu of flowers, donations to Broadmead Care - Veterans Memorial Lodge would be appreciated. Condolences may be offered to the family at www.mccallgardens.com
Published in Victoria Times Colonist from Oct. 26 to Oct. 27, 2019